“Southwark is in deep water”: Residents demonstrate against flood risks posed by climate change.

Several dozen residents marched through the borough on Saturday 30th October 2021, equipped with placards, banners and drums, to demand that the UK government and Southwark Council both do more to tackle the climate emergency. 

The demonstration proceeded from Tower Bridge to Peckham, covering an area of the Southwark they say could experience frequent flooding in a matter of years. Climate change will increase the risk of floods globally, as sea levels rise and extreme weather becomes more common, with low-lying areas like Southwark particularly vulnerable. 

The march, which was organised by Extinction Rebellion Southwark, took place on the eve of the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow. Following a series of dire warnings from the scientific community, there is intense pressure on governments to agree to plans that would rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Extinction Rebellion (XR) Southwark has promised to escalate its protest in the coming months if more urgent action on climate change is not forthcoming.

“Southwark is really vulnerable to rising water levels because we’re so low-lying,” said Megan Atkins, on behalf of XR Southwark. “If we don’t drastically reduce our emissions in the next decade, we could see devastating flooding that would endanger lives and livelihoods across the borough.” 

They continued: “there are so many things we could do that would cut emissions and improve people’s lives –  like insulating our homes, improving public transport, planting trees, and investing in clean energy. Instead of sticking their heads in the sand, politicians at every level – Westminster, City Hall, or Southwark Council –  should be making these things their priority.”

The action was covered in Southwark News here.

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